Whether you have been homesteading for decades or are just starting your off-the-grid life, the best goat milking machine can be a time and lifesaver. Aside from the fact that milking a goat is time-consuming, it is also a process that requires practiced technique. Of course, even if you know how to properly milk a goat by hand, it still takes a fair amount of time. That is why we have put together a list of the 3 best goat milking machines as well a helpful buyer’s guide.
Best Goat Milking Machine in 2019
|Ultimate EZ||Electric||2 Quart||Vacuum|
1. Dansha Farms Milker Review – Best Priced Goat Milking Machine
Dansha Farms products are like many on our list and are the fruit borne out of necessity – in this instance, a rancher who could no longer milk by hand. Interestingly enough, this company actually started at the same time as some other well-known milker companies too. Regardless, this company uses less expensive parts and components to provide a reasonably priced milker without sacrificing quality. On top of that, this is also likely the least invasive milker that we saw and also the most easily transported.
If you are just starting out with your goat “herd,” chances are that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the nuanced information. For instance, disbudding goats is common to prevent aggression but can also leave the goat temperamentally docile. The same applies to milkers that make significant noise, though the animals are liable to settle down after a while.
While this does mean that you will definitely have to wait longer to finish milking than some of the other products we saw, it is still a solid system. For instance, the milker does not run the milk through any of the body making cleanup much easier than for larger milkers. On top of that, the Dansha Farms Milker is a sealed system to help prevent any microorganisms from tainting the milk. It is also a snap to use – especially compared to some of the more expensive and powerful models we saw.
2. Ultimate EZ – Best Electric Goat Milking Machine
The Ultimate EZ brand is actually part of the larger EZ Animal Products company which has a history that goes back over 20 years. Moreover, this company was founded by a couple of ranchers who have direct experience with the animals as well as their competitor’s products. It was because they found all of the options on the market woefully inadequate that the company’s founder, Buck Wheeler, started EZ Animal Products.
That said, it is important to understand how the company that makes these milkers affect the philosophy of production. For instance, the Ultimate EZ milker is not focused with bells and whistles and other features to make the job easier for new ranchers. You need to understand how to properly milk your goats before using this product as it is not simply “automatic.”
Regardless, the Ultimate EZ milker is made and distributed by the Wheeler family in Kentucky, USA. At only 22 pounds, the Ultimate EZ milker is also reasonably portable, though you will have to figure out how to do that yourself. This is because the Ultimate EZ milker does not come with a case or anything to assist you in transporting it from one place to another.
3. Melasty – Best Gas Goat Milking Machine
If money is no object and you simply want the best of the best in milkers, then Melasty is one of the companies you should turn to. The Melasty brand is actually broken up into Melasty Home and Melasty Dairy, which means that this brand is specialized exclusively in milking products. In fact, this particular product is not only specialized for milking in general, but it is specialized for milking goats in particular. That said, this may not be the best option for smaller scale “ranchers” who only have a couple of goats.
However, if you have numerous goats that need to be milked, say on a medium-sized homestead, then the Melasty is a great time-saver. Out of all the milkers that we reviewed, the Melasty is easily the most powerful milker on our list. This milker has a flow rate of 110L/min which blows the rest of its competition on our list our of the water – and it is not even close. This power is best transferred across multiple goats as this is one of the few milkers we saw which can milk 2 goats at once.
Of course, if you need to take your Melasty milker somewhere, you can power the device with a 4-stroke engine.
Finally, the Melasty also features an automated cleaning system – though you will still need to clean it manually from time to time.
Goat Milking Machine – Buyer’s Guide
For a small to medium-sized farm with a handful or two of livestock, this is often one of the better options. This is because the electric milkers strike a solid balance between power and cost – both the initial cost and the overhead costs. This is especially true when compared to the other type of milker used for larger homesteads: gas-powered milkers.
It is worth keeping in mind that an electric milker is almost universally helpless when trying to compete on a pure power basis with a gas-powered milker. Of course, the electric milker is not weak, and the cost of electricity is significantly less than gasoline – not to mention that electric motors do not need regular oil changes.
An electric milker’s biggest downfall is the fact that you cannot as easily transport it – largely due to the need for a plug or outlet. It is actually possible to use a generator to power an electric milker, but this then negates the primary benefits of an electric milker compared to a gas-powered milker. Aside from the fact that you would now need to purchase gasoline to power the milker, you would also need to purchase or already own the generator.
Technically, this is an electric milker that relies on a battery pack for its electricity. This has a couple notable benefits that are perfect for small farms with few livestock – especially if the livestock are free-range. On the other hand, this is easily the worst type of milker to use if you have numerous animals to milk or do not have a lot of time.
Basically, the battery-powered milker will suffer all of the same problems as the electric milker and then some. Not only does the battery-powered milker suffer from powering down when it meets significant resistance, but this type of milker is not able to draw from an infinite power source to then ramp back up. Instead, this is easily the least powerful type of milker without any caveat to paint it in a better light.
Still, the main benefit of a battery-powered milker is the fact that it can be easily transported since it is not tied to its power source. Even better, the battery-powered milker is far less expensive than even the electric milker due to the motor being far smaller and less powerful.
This is by far the most powerful and expensive type of milker on the market, and its expense continues to be the highest even after purchase. This is because a gas-powered milker will, of course, require gasoline as a fuel source which is significantly more expensive than electricity and even batteries. On top of that, a gas-powered milker will often use a 4-stroke engine which means you also need to add oil.
Moreover, gas milkers will also inherently be messier than the other types due to the fact that the gas and oil themselves are messier than a system without. On top of that, the gas milker is generally more likely to create a mess with the milk itself too. This is because a gas milker will still be able to generate far more suction power than the other types which, again, inherently makes it more prone to messes.
That said, we feel the need to repeat what may have been buried: the gas milkers are going to generate the most suction power out of any milker type. This is because the combustion generated from the gas engine is not subject to powering down when it meets resistance like electric motors do – even powerful ones. As such, this is the best type when you have a larger farm or more animals to milk and cannot afford to waste time.
This might seem like a fairly obvious quality of a milker, but the reality may be a bit counter-intuitive to the uninitiated. Basically, you need the milker to provide just enough suction to get the milk but not so much suction that the animal suffers. The amount of suction that a milker provides needs to be properly calibrated or else it can actually cause damage to the goat’s teat. In fact, damaging the teat due to too much suction can lead to infections which will eventually ruin any harvested milk until the goat is treated.
Of course, the flip side to this is either a milker that cannot actually generate enough suction to get the milk. Likewise, if you have a medium-sized homestead with livestock, you probably do not want to have to wait an hour or longer just to milk one goat. As such, not only is it vital that the milker does not generate too much suction, but it also cannot generate too little either.
As you might expect by this point, the amount of suction has more to do with the motor or engine of the milker than anything else. True, the cups can affect how effective a milker is depending on the seal it creates over the teat. Still, the stronger the motor or engine, generally the more suction that a milker can generate. This means that you need to be especially careful when purchasing a powerful milker.
It might sound a bit odd, but the skin of goats can be every bit as sensitive as the skin of humans which makes the materials a far more meaningful consideration than it might otherwise be. This is because the cups that are in direct contact with the goat’s teat need to be hypoallergenic to prevent an allergic reaction – which is a real thing even with goats.
This means that you will want to avoid cups made of lesser materials like rubber or latex and focus on something non-reactive like silicone. Keep in mind that a goat’s allergic reaction to a material will be similar to that of other livestock. Basically, the nipple will begin to swell with hives eventually leading to the milk gland getting infected and secreting puss into the milk.
Outside of the suction cups, the rest of the milker should be made of various materials that are suited for the task. For instance, the hoses and other connecting components should also be made of a hypoallergenic material as well. This is because the material could conceivably travel up the tube before the suction is applied – though that should not be an issue if you prep the cup properly.
For the rest of the milker, you are going to want materials that are both incredibly durable as well as resistant to rust and corrosion. Granted, depending on what kind of milker you get, you may not really need to worry about the materials of the other components quite as much. However, if the milker runs the milk through the milker’s body, you are going to want to make sure that the milker is made of rust and corrosion resistant materials like stainless steel or aluminum.
However, for most people who own a dozen goats or less, we recommend the Ultimate EZ milker. Designed by professional livestock handlers and assembled in the USA, this milker can actually pull double and triple duty. With the ability to milk goats, cows, or sheep, this milker is also powerful enough to milk multiple animals at once.